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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 17, No. 8. May 27, 1953

Inopportune or Unintentional?

Inopportune or Unintentional?

Now that the hubbub of Procesh has died down—you will read its obituary in this issue—we can stand back, as public-spirited students, and earnestly ask ourselves this question: "Has it helped in our relations with the members of Wellington City?" A little perhaps, but not very much.

The trouble was that if we wanted to woo and win the affections of the Wellington public, we should have promised that we would not throw things, or squirt water, or let off stink bombs. The smoke bomb should have been denser, more penetrating, and perhaps slightly poisonous. Far more effective in its quiet unobtrusive way, was a little thing composed by the Reverend W. Gardiner Scott, reported in the "Evening Post" on April 30. which runs something like this:—

"New Zealand Universities and Training Colleges were centres of paganism," and again, "we used to say in Scotland that we had 'good' people teaching in our universities. Students learned good moral behaviour from them. Such is not always the case in New Zealand."

We must be fair. Was this speech meant to be reported or was the knowledge that the university is pagan and (by implication at least, if not by plain statement) that the staff is immoral, merely for the intellectual benefit of those women who attended the conference? If the latter is the case, then we are giving the Reverend Scott credit for an action which he did not intend.

But if he had a likely notion that his talk would perhaps appear in print then we must indeed congratulate him for giving the University some much needed publicity.

Surely there is no more striking manner of ridding the University of its red tinge, than by intimating that it is immoral; this sweeps aside instantly the distant and somewhat theoretical problem of Communism.

Instead it labels the University as one of those highly interesting and immediate centres, "a hotbed of immorality." All thanks therefore to the speaker for ridding the minds of many persons of the prejudiced notion that this college is red. To label the place publicly as immoral instead was indeed a master-stroke, and will undoubtedly give considerable aid to those of us who are attemping to make the university something more than a landmark.